Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Imagine if you were lactose intolerant, suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, couldn't eat corn or almost any greasy foods without major GI Track issues, have chronic lower back and nerve issues, multiple knee injuries, tendinitis in your left arm and you do not make the "big money" to buy those specialized foods & medicines to treat any of these problems...sounds like a great excuse to not have a healthy diet or be fit, right?
Well that scenario describes my world. I have lived most of my life having to be extra careful what foods I eat and what supplements I take. The honest truth is that I take no prescriptions for any of my "health problems" because I have found through being cautious about what I eat and drink daily I can manage my health issues. I have found that many of those "medicines" mask symptoms instead of actually helping to fix the problem.
Whatever your situation is, i doubt that it is ideal, fiscally or physically. The solution to being fit and healthy lies within the choices you make every day. I want to give you my tips to get you on the right path to making more informed decisions to make it easier to be healthy and fit!
1. Read the ingredients before buying it
Ask anyone that has ever been involved in marketing or advertising, how you present your product has a major influence on potential customers. The colors, trendy adjectives, nutrition grids, suggestive health benefits; all of these elements factor into your decision to consider buying a product. Instead, you need to jump to the ingredients section to see what exactly is in it before buying it.
This goes for everything now a days because companies are putting so much unnecessary stuff in products; Does apple sauce really need High Fructose Corn Syrup? Does your "100 percent whole wheat bread" still sound "healthy" with Modified Corn Starch and Mono and Diglycerides? Why do chips need Olestra? And lets not forget those Boars Head Cold Cuts with the "healthy heart" symbol still has MSG in it!
Our society has been so programmed to read the front of the package instead of the back leaving many people to wonder why they may have GI Track problems after eating a "healthy meal". So be an informed consumer who is picky at the store, read the ingredients, know what you are putting into your body. You cannot make gains if what you are putting into your body is a farce.
2. Attack Your Cravings, Don't Ignore Them
I see these commercials for these Diet Programs and they claim they are going to help you "fight your cravings". But do you understand why you crave certain foods? Sometimes if you are craving certain "unhealthy foods" its because your body is in need of something healthy such as Calcium or Magnesium. Do not ignore your cravings because there are psychological and biological reasons for them.
Some psychiatrists and rehab clinics recommend for those with addictions go through Replacement Therapy, where the patient is weened off the addiction by finding a substitute. Examples include cigarette smoker becoming a gum chewer or a drug addict switching over to caffeinated coffee. The same psychology can be used for food cravings.
Do you love chocolate candy or Oreo's? Find a protein powder or protein bar to substitute instead of buying a candy bar. Do you love cinnamon buns? Buy some Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread and put some organic fruit preservatives on it. Find other foods to eat instead of immediately falling back on the craved foods. If you do your best to eat healthy 80 percent of the week and treat yourself the other 20 percent, over time you will become more accustomed to not give into the "junk food" and the more you understand the reasons behind your cravings the more you will be able to handle the urges.
3. Question those toppings, remember food is fuel for the machine that is your body
If you owned a Lamborghini you wouldn't put Regular Unleaded gasoline in it, right? NO, you would Premium Plus in it because that car is special. This is because that car needs the best quality fuel to operate. Well the same goes for your body; the quality of what you put in your body equals the quality you get out of it.
As a society we have been raised to have an unhealthy relationship with food, having to put condiments on everything while not always cooking food to be tasteful, instead cooked with a bunch of stuff to add flavor to it.
In the long run, many of those dressings, breading, condiments, etc are made with a bunch of stuff your body doesn't need. Start looking at what you eat as something that is to fuel you, not just taste good. If you like beef, then get some steak; but do you need to drown it in A1 sauce for it to be good? No, a little seasoning while the steak is cooking goes a long way.
If you are lactose intolerant, you may not realize how many salad dressings and sour creams are made with dairy products or if you are Diabetic, how many refined sugars and syrups are put in products such as ketchup and barbecue sauce. Then you wonder why you don't feel good later after eating that salad or that steak; its because the "healthy" meal was covered in unhealthy junk that your body is having a negative reaction to. Take the time to re-evaluate what you are eating and how it effects you physically. Good fuel equals good physical performance.
4. Let go of your ego and be well equipped.
I hate when I see memes and posts online putting down people who use knee and wrist wraps/braces or those who use weight lifting belts as lesser people because "real athletes" and "real men" don't that is such a subjective claim. The truth is that if you let go your ego or what others think of you get in the way of your progress, you will hurt yourself more often than not. I have suffered multiple knee, back and wrist injuries while also going under the knife for multiple foot surgeries. If I need a wrist wrap, knee braces, and weightlifting belt to do certain workouts, you better believe I am because I will not let that stop me from making gains and progress beneficial to my health!
The same goes for you. Most good wraps, braces and belts are not that expensive; look at these items as tools that you are investing in to help you get where you want to go. Don't let other people or excuses get in the way of your success. I was 284 pounds in March of 2008, in 2012 I was 176 pounds and 14 percent body fat, today I am 185 pounds and 9 percent body fat; how did that happen? I did what was necessary to make gains! I didn't care if I needed to wear two knee braces, a wrist wrap and a weightlifting belt cause to me I am going to do what is needed to overcome the odds. Also, if someone is putting you down because you wear a brace, then they are punks who are not interested in you bettering yourself.
In summary, the solution to overcoming whatever is in your way is educating yourself about what you are doing to your body. Knowledge is power; you can't make progress inside or outside the gym if you lack the information needed to succeed in life. The more you evaluate how what you eat effects you, the better results you will get from the food you eat and that will lead to less plateaus and side effects.